Cops screen footage of accidents to deter rash drivers

Resorting to shock therapy to spread awareness on road safety, city traffic police show college students clips of accidents captured on CCTV cameras, plan to hold screenings in theatres to reach wider audience.

Imagine witnessing a real-life accident. Will it actually make you a cautious driver in the long run? Hoping such an experience will act as a deterrent to rash drivers, the city police have decided to screen footage of real-life accidents for students. And to take this exercise in spreading awareness even further, the traffic department also plans to screen such footage -- taken from CCTV cameras on roads -- at multiplexes and single screen theatres.

Crash course in safety: Traffic police officers screen videos on 
accidents for 500 students at Fergusson College on Wednesday. 
Pic/Bhushan Kokre

The first step was taken on Wednesday, when the traffic department screened real-life accident footage for 500 students of Fergusson College. The show was organised on the occasion of Road Safety Fortnight in the city in collaboration with the PMC and the RTO.

The traffic department has made a three-minute video clipping of accidents that have happened, especially those involving two-wheelers, and are in discussions with the Pune Exhibitor's Association to screen it in theatres. 

"It is a great initiative and the traffic department should have come up with this idea much earlier to spread awareness on safe driving," said Sadanand Mohol, president, Pune Exhibitor's Association. "Most youngsters throng movie theatres and this will help spread a positive message." DCP Vishwas Pandhare, Traffic Branch, said the department was encouraged by the response from students so far.

"We thought the footage of real-life accidents would make people think and realise the seriousness of driving rashly," said Pandhare. "Two-wheeler riders should wear helmets and people driving cars should use a seat belt. And we wanted to target the student community. The presentation evoked a lot of responses from them."
Pandhare added that he was in talks with theatre owners to screen the three-minute footage at movie halls as well. 

The video show for students at Fergusson College was organised in the Amphitheatre on the college premises. 
Students and faculty members at Fergusson were all praise for the initiative. "It was shocking to watch the clippings of 12 videos," said Bhushan Kokare, a second-year arts student from the college. "The videos were from India and abroad. There were some shots of fatal accidents as well." 

Dr Rajendra Mahamuni from the Photography Department of the college said: "The initiative is brilliant and we hope there is an impact on students." Shripad Pophale, junior engineer, Intelligent Traffic System, PMC, said: "We have caught 14.94 lakh traffic violators on camera in 2011 and will use some of them for the video."

In numbers
>> CCTV cameras in city: 70
>> Junctions where cameras have been installed: 52
>> Cost of the Intelligent Traffic System project used to book traffic offenders: Rs 15.46 crore

Others do their bit

Lest we forget: Schoolchildren light lamps at an event organised by 
the RTO before the Shaniwarwada yesterday to pray for the souls of 
those who lost their lives in road accidents  in 2011

ISS volunteers spread road safety awareness on MG Road yesterday 
as the organisation is observing a road safety week. Pics/Pooja Wagh 
and Krunal Gosavi

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